The influence of dietary amounts of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) was studied on performance, apparent PCB digestibility and PCB accumulation in broiler chickens that were maintained until 42 days of age. Dietary concentrations of supplemented PCBs, based on the sum of seven reference congeners, ranged from 0 to 12 ng/g, which was below the legal maximum of 200 ng PCBs/g fat in Belgian feeds. PCB ingestion did not significantly affect body weight and feed intake. Apparent PCB digestibility was not influenced by dietary levels of added fat varying between 4% and 8%, but was significantly higher in broilers fed diets containing added PCBs. Accumulation of PCBs in the fat fraction of abdominal adipose tissue and breast and thigh muscle greatly depended upon PCB intake. However, PCB contents in the various body fat fractions within the same animal differed, even within muscle tissues, indicating an unequal PCB distribution in body fats. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.